Community Grant Guidance Notes

East Dunbartonshire Council recognises that the community and voluntary sector make a significant contribution to the quality of life in its communities. The Council is committed to supporting the community and voluntary sector through its grants scheme. Applications to the grant scheme can be made by a wide range of groups for many different purposes. The money available is however limited and the Council has to be selective in how grants are disbursed. This grant scheme incorporates a list of priorities and assessment criteria together with procedures for assessing applications as fairly as possible. This scheme also allows flexibility for applications to be submitted to the Council twice a year.

We recommend that applicants read the guidance notes before they start and refer to the help notes while filling out the application form.

Guidance Notes

Who can apply?

Any group that has a constitution, a bank account, is non-profit distributing and aims to bring benefits to the residents of East Dunbartonshire can apply to the grants scheme.

Applications are welcome from organisations that have applied to us in the past and those that haven't applied before.

Groups that promote a political party as well as individuals and schools are not eligible to apply to the grant scheme.

What can we fund?

You can apply for a grant for a wide range of purposes as long as it is not for profit and brings benefits to the residents of East Dunbartonshire.

In your application you can ask for funding for start-up costs, special projects, equipment and salaries.

Applications may only be made for costs incurred throughout the period of one year.

Religious organisations that want to carry out work in the community can apply to the grant scheme. We can't, however, fund applications designed to promote religion itself, which exclude people for religious reasons or require people to take part in religious services in order to benefit.

We cannot fund costs that you have already incurred. Please note when decisions will be made on funding below.

We do not fund accommodation costs in schools or other Council owned property. The grant is for community development activity and school related items or activity is not funded through the grant scheme.

While we can fund up to 100% of the costs associated with your project, it is in the interest of your group to seek a proportion of the costs from other sources, and/or from your own funds. Projects that show a commitment from their own funds are viewed more favourably.

If the project requires a licence or some other type of consent, then this must be obtained from either the licensing authority or other relevant body or organisation prior to the submission of any grant application in order for the application to be considered.

View advice and information on occasional licenses.

When you can apply

There are two opportunities to apply for funding each financial year (from April to March). The deadlines for submission of projects are posted on the Council website. There is normally a round of grants in the autumn and another early in the new year.

The dates of Grant Advisory Committee meetings are also posted on the website. You will receive a letter informing you of the decision after this meeting. You must return the signed grant acceptance form to us within two weeks before payment is made.

How to apply

For your request for funding to be considered you need to have submitted an application form and have met the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility

In order for your application to be eligible you must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Your organisation or group must be non-profit distributing
  • Your organisation or group must have a bank account
  • Your organisation or group must have a constitutional document
  • The application must aim to bring benefits to people from East Dunbartonshire

You must have submitted all the necessary enclosures (see section 7).

How we assess your application

After your application has been received we will check that it meets our eligibility criteria for applying for a Council grant. If you have not met these requirements your application will not go through our assessment process and we will contact you to explain why.

To undertake our assessment we will look at your application form, your constitutional document, your accounts and other supplementary information we have asked you to enclose with the application form. If we do not have ALL of these documents by the grants deadline, we are not able to progress your application.

Criteria for assessing and scoring your application:

Your project will be assessed and scored over five criteria. The first two of these are whether you have demonstrated a need for your project and if what you plan to do meets a local priority outcome or goal. We will consider section three of your application form to assess this.

The Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (2017-2027) sets the priority outcomes for East Dunbartonshire and focuses on improving public services across the authority. This document is created by the East Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership (CPP) which includes the Council, NHS, Police Scotland, East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action, Leisure and Culture Trust and others. It also reflects what the Council and the CPP have agreed as the priority outcomes for improving the quality of life in East Dunbartonshire.

These priority outcomes are:

  1. East Dunbartonshire has a sustainable and resilient economy with busy town and village centres, a growing business base, and is an attractive place in which to visit and invest
  2. Our people and communities are equipped with the knowledge and skills for learning, life and work
  3. Our children and young people are safe, healthy and ready to learn
  4. East Dunbartonshire is a safe place in which to live, work and visit
  5. Our people experience good physical and mental health and wellbeing with access to a quality built and natural and environment in which to lead healthier and more active lifestyles.
  6. Our older population and more vulnerable citizens are supported to maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life and they, their families and carers, benefit from effective care and support services

The next criteria is whether your project combats inequality. The grant scheme is for all residents of East Dunbartonshire however, we will look more favourably on applications that focus on supporting known vulnerable communities and/ or areas that are disadvantaged. This is in accordance with our Local Outcomes Improvement Plan and the Place plans for Lennoxtown, Auchinairn, Twechar, Hillhead and Harestanes. We will look at section three and five of your application form to assess this criteria. Projects which can evidence the support of the community they serve will score well here.

The fourth part of our assessment process reflects the need to check that public money is being spent appropriately and that it brings value for money in terms of public benefits. For this section we will consider your accounts and spending plans to check that: your group is financially sound; that your costs are reasonable; and, that the funding you request will bring benefit to a good number of local people (including volunteers). If you are looking for the Council to fund staff costs, we will check that you have considered the need for appropriate skills, qualifications and experience of staff via looking at your constitution, any job descriptions and hourly rates of pay submitted. We will check any salary costs or quotes for purchasing equipment to ensure these costs are reasonable and necessary.

Finally, we want to know details of the match funding that is in place for your organisation/project. We want to see a commitment to funding the project from your own group membership fees or other fundraising. This is the final of the five application assessment criteria.

The assessment process will involve scrutiny by a Council officer with knowledge of the group or type of service to be provided. The application will also be considered by the East Dunbartonshire Grants Advisory Committee.

If your grant application is unsuccessful

If you have been unsuccessful in your grant application you will be notified in writing. Groups that have been unsuccessful may seek feedback on their application by the Council and follow-up support with, either future applications, or other matters relating to the development of their group by East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action.

If your grant application is successful

If you are successful you will receive an offer of grant. This offer of grant will state the amount and period of grant and may include extra conditions in addition to the standard conditions of grant outlined at page 9).

To accept the offer of grant you need to sign the grant acceptance form and complete the bank details form we send you, returning it to us within three weeks. Having received these, a BACS payment will normally be sent to you within a matter of days.

All recipients of Council grants will need to send us evaluation information. This will normally be asked for at the end of the grant period or is available online for completion. This information is very important because it tells us whether the grant has been used for the purpose it was intended. You should keep receipts for any items you bought as the Council may wish to see these. It also tells us what makes a successful project, information that will help us advise other groups on best practice in the future.

More help with your application

This grant pack contains help notes that explain how to answer each question in the application form.

Forms are available online however you can request a paper copy of the application by emailing communitygrants@eastdunbarton.gov.uk.

If you need extra help to complete the form you can contact:

Council Service
Community Grants Scheme
East Dunbartonshire Council
Broomhill Depot
Kilsyth Road
Kirkintilloch
G66 1TF
Tel: 0300 123 4510
Email: communitygrants@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Or

Voluntary Service
East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action
Unit 4/5
18-20 Townhead
Kirkintilloch
G66 1NL
Tel: 0141 575 6680
Email: info@edva.org


Help Notes

Eligibility

Before you start to write the application check that your organisation is not-for-profit, has its own bank account, has a constitutional document and that the application aims to bring benefits to people in East Dunbartonshire. You should also be able to send us all the necessary enclosures (these are detailed in part 7). If these criteria are not met your application will not be processed. In these circumstances advice and assistance will be offered.

We also want to know if your organisation/project receives any funding from East Dunbartonshire Council. Please state which department you receive funding from, the amount and whether the funding relates to this application.

Applicant Details

This section tells us the name of your group/organisation and how we can contact you. The main contact person for your application should be someone who is able to discuss the work of your organisation and the application in detail. The main contact must be a person from your group but does not need to be an office bearer. The second contact person must be an Office Bearer. We may contact this person if we cannot reach you. We will require an Office Bearer to sign the grant acceptance form if your application is successful.

Please make sure you use the correct name for your group as outlined on your constitution and bank statement – not doing this this may hold up your grant.

Information About Your Group

This section tells us about the purpose of your group and where your activities take place

1. What does your group / organisation do?
We want to know about the activities of your group. Tell us what your group was set up to do and/or summarise the actual activities that your group is involved in.

2. At what address does you group meet?
This is the place where the activities of your group occur. It may be your group’s building or office, a community centre or other community space such as a town or village hall. We want to know if your group is based in East Dunbartonshire.

3. What need in the community does your group/project meet?
We want to know about the needs of the people who will use your organisation/project. Explain how you know that these needs exist e.g. via research, surveys or public meetings. Can you demonstrate your project has the support of the community it serves? Does your organisation / project meet needs of a priority or vulnerable group that are not available from anywhere else?

4. Which of the following goals does your project support?
These are the long term goals agreed by public bodies in the area as outlined in our Local Outcomes Improvement Plan. You MUST only select one outcome from those below. If your project meets more than one, select the one that is MOST applicable. You should explain how your project or group meets this goal referring to any evidence or consultation that exists.

1. East Dunbartonshire has a sustainable and resilient economy with busy town and village centres, a growing business base, and is an attractive place in which to visit and invest
2. Our people are equipped with the knowledge and skills for learning, life and work
3. Our children and young people are safe, healthy and ready to learn
4. East Dunbartonshire is a safe place in which to live, work and visit 5. Our people experience good physical and mental health and wellbeing with access to a quality built and natural and environment in which to lead healthier and more active lifestyles. 6. Our older population and more vulnerable citizens are supported to maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life and they, their families and carers, benefit from effective care and support services.
5. If you are applying for a sports or arts related projects you must first have sought funding from East Dunbartonshire Arts Council [opens in a new window] or East Dunbartonshire Sports Council [opens in a new window]. You may be seeking a larger amount of funding than these groups normally give in a grant. Alternatively, you may be looking to fund something that is not eligible for Arts or Sports Council funding. Please detail this advice in your application under 3.6 or let us know when you got in touch with them.

Application Information

What is the total income, expenditure and closing balance of your Community Group? Please tell us the total amount of expenditure required to deliver your community group in one year and the main areas of expense. Then tell us the total amount of income and the main areas you obtain the funding. This information is a summary from your group accounts that you are required to submit (see section 6 on enclosures).

1. How much are you asking for?
This is the total amount of funding you wish to receive from the Community Grants Scheme. Please note that you may only apply for up to £3,000. We ask that you demonstrate you have made a commitment to the project from your own resources or other funding source (match funding).

2. Please describe the activities this grant will be spent on.
This is a description of your activities not a breakdown of actual or predicted costs which is the next question.

3. Please provide a breakdown of costs.
We want to know the costs of your project including any items you will purchase with the grant. You should put the most important item you need at the top with other items after that in order of importance. Please note that for items over £500 you must submit enclosures (see section 6) including job descriptions (including hourly rate of pay) for any grant funded or part-funded post(s) and quotes or estimates of any items you wish to purchase (e.g. printed from a website). Please get in touch with us about any queries.

4. Are there any other sources of funding?
We want to know details of the match funding that is in place for your organisation/project. We want to see a commitment to funding the project from your own group membership fees or other fundraising. This is one of the application assessment criteria. If you are awaiting a decision from another funder for your organisation/project then let us know when you will find out.

5. How many volunteers vs paid staff are in your organisation?
We want to know if your group has sustainable support from the local community. Tell us the number of paid staff (Full Time Equivalent) alongside the average number of volunteers you have in regular attendance over one year.

Beneficiaries & Impact

1. How many people will benefit from East Dunbartonshire and how many will benefit from outwith East Dunbartonshire?
We want to know how many people will benefit from your project. If your activities will bring benefits to people that don’t live in East Dunbartonshire you must tell us.

2. Who will benefit the most from the grant?
We want you to tell us the main group that you aim to target. You must only select one option which reflects the largest number of people participating in your project. If your group aims to increase the skills and knowledge of a community or voluntary group itself, then choose that option.

3. What area will benefit from the grant?
We want to know where most of the people who will benefit from your project or group live. You should select one option. Only if there is no clear majority of people from one area should you select the East Dunbartonshire or Scotland wide option.

4. Will your proposal tackle a geographic area of need?
Does your proposal benefit residents of a ‘Place’ community – as being a geographical area of need? These are defined as priority areas of need in the East Dunbartonshire Local Outcomes Improvement Plan - Hillhead and Harestanes, Lennoxtown, Auchinairn and Twechar.

Enclosures

The enclosures that you need to submit depend on what and how much you are applying for. Applicants applying for £500 or less still need to enclose:

  • Constitutional document
  • Most recent approved accounts. If an organisation is new, income and spending plans for the first year may be submitted • A recent bank statement in the name of your group
  • Copies of any licences or other consent granted relevant to the application (if applicable).
     

Applicants asking for over £500 should enclose:

  • Their constitutional document
  • Their most recent approved accounts. If an organisation is new income and spending plans for the first year may be submitted
  • A recent bank statement in the name of your group
  • Copies of quotes, estimates or other evidence of costs
  • A job description for each post to be funded or part-funded with the grant – this should details skills, qualifications and experience alongside hourly rate of pay
  • Proof of ownership or a signed copy of the lease if this grant is to be used to fund improvements to land or buildings, along with evidence that the owner has agreed to the work you plan to undertake.
  • Copies of any licence or other consent granted relevant to the application (if applicable). Occasional licenses may be subject to a small fee – information is on the Occasional licence page.

More about enclosures

The accounts submitted to us must be signed and dated by your Chair, Secretary or Treasurer. If audited, the accounts must be signed by your auditor or independent examiner. You should provide us with as full an explanation of your accounts as you can, telling us, in particular, about any large assets showing in the balance sheet. If you are a new organisation you can send us income and spending plans for the grant.

We require that you email attachments electronically to communitygrants@eastdunbarton.gov.uk If you prefer to not use the web form you must email your completed application form together with all enclosures to the following address: communitygrants@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

To avoid disappointment, please ensure that your documentation reaches us by the grant deadline.

Standard Conditions of Grant

The following must be met if you are awarded a grant by East Dunbartonshire Council. Other grant conditions may be made. Failure to meet these conditions of grant may result in repayment of the grant to the Council and can affect applications in the future.

1.Grants and other assistance in kind are given for the purpose described in the application or specified by the Council in its offer of grant and should not be used for any other purpose without the Council's prior approval. Misuse may result in repayment of grants being required, other assistance being cancelled, and future support being refused.

2. Organisations receiving a grant will, if asked by an authorised officer of the Council:

  • Provide information or copies of financial records; and,
  • Make available for inspection any items purchased or information relating to projects or activities carried out with grant funding.

3. Key partner organisations in receipt of Council funding will be required to enter into a detailed agreement with the Council. This agreement will reflect the level of funding provided and the Council's expectations of the recipient.

4. Any equipment purchased with Council a grant must:

  • Be owned and controlled by the organisation;
  • Be stored securely and insured for full replacement value;
  • Be properly maintained; and,
  • Not be sold or disposed of without the Council's prior approval

5. Where a grant is given for the acquisition or improvement of land or buildings it will be the responsibility of the applicant to provide full insurance cover for full replacement value if damaged or destroyed. Further, all necessary consents must be obtained prior to commencing work. Evidence of this must be produced if required by an officer of the Council.

6. Organisations receiving a grant will be expected to develop best practice in equal opportunities and fully comply with any relevant legislation affecting the way a project or activity is carried out.

7. On the date or dates specified in the offer of grant receipts of expenditure will be required by the Council together with a report on the spending of a grant.

8. On the date or dates specified in the offer of grant applicants will be required to submit evaluation information to the Council. What is expected in terms of evaluation information will be specified in the offer of grant.

9. Should the organisation cease to exist, the ownership of goods, equipment and facilities purchased with Council funds will revert to the Council for redistribution to other organisations in East Dunbartonshire. Further, if any goods, equipment or facilities purchased from Council funds have been lost, stolen or damaged and not replaced, all moneys obtained from their insurance will revert to the Council.

10. The Council will not fund costs incurred prior to the application for grant being made.

11. The amount of grant any applicant can receive will be variable and will be determined by the Council in accordance with appropriate criteria.

12. If a grant is not fully spent on the project or activity the organisation will promptly return the unspent amount to the Council.

13. A grant award will not be increased should the organisation overspend.

14. If any part of a grant has been made to buy services or a series of related services costing more than £10,000, the Applicant will apply competitive tendering, unless the Council agrees that there is good reason not to do so.

15. The Council is not liable for any losses or costs arising from a failure to make grant payments on any agreed date.

16. Where an award for part costs of a project or activity is made the organisation being funded is required to provide to the Council written confirmation that the remaining funds have been secured prior to the project or activity commencing.

17. The Applicant must acknowledge the Council's grant support in any publicity material produced in connection with the project.

Privacy Notice – Community Planning – Small Grants Applications and Evaluations

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Privacy Statement on how we will use your information can be accessed in full in the Privacy Notices section.